Archives

Accountability

When I sort of accidentally began this journey, accountability was a big thing for me. I talked about it. Owned it. Showed it. Through daily full body Instagram photos, I am holding myself accountable to myself and to (I’d like to think) the world for my fitness and health, whether I do or don’t meet my goals for that day, week or whatever.

Just recently, I’ve begun adding food pics to the mix, which I had been doing from time to time before, but that’s when I was flaky about it all and could easily have had a salad for lunch and fried chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner. You’d see the pretty picture of the salad, but you wouldn’t see and I wouldn’t speak of the fried chicken.

I guess it’s like the proverbial tree in the forest. If I eat it and no one’s around to witness it, does that mean it didn’t happen? Well, I knew that couldn’t last because even if I didn’t post pictures of every meal, I repeat, I post full body shots of myself every single day, so you would know something went awry, somewhere. I wouldn’t be telling the truth. I wouldn’t be telling my truth. And there are many parts to my truth.

The truth is, if this were five days ago, I’d have either a vodka cranberry or a glass of wine in my hand. And if I’m going to tell the truth, five days ago, I DID have a vodka cranberry in my hand, and followed it up with several more. And let’s just throw a couple of shots of tequila in there for sport, because that happened, too.

Also, a hangover happened, and though I’ve posted a vicious hangover selfie on Instagram, I made sure I got myself together before I posted my daily shot, and I still went walking/jogging.

I haven’t had a drink since Sunday and that’s in part because I’ve been thinking a lot about this accountability thing and also because a friend challenged me to a strict seven day fitness thingy that doesn’t allow for alcohol.

It’s been easy. Unbelievably easy until today, when my day wasn’t so good, when my relationship isn’t glowing that perfect glow, when I’m so annoyed/pissed/mad/sad that I just want to numb myself with a vodka neat or a whole bottle of wine. And yes, I can take down a whole bottle…and a half.

So, far I’m resisting. Sipping iced water and channeling this negative energy into new words and promoting Can’t Get Enough. And I think I’m able to resist mostly out of stubbornness and a small part of me thinks it may be an around about attempt at sabotage because my husband of course lives with me, knows my habits, my weaknesses and unfortunately, my triggers.

It’s good to get that off my chest. I’ll let  you know how it turns out tomorrow. Honestly.

Boundaries

lafyette

 

This is going to get personal, like, really personal. But that’s what we do here. Chat lightly, things get heavy, we promote a little.

I would categorize this one as a vent, except I’m not angry, and quite frankly, that worries me.

I may or may not have spoken here about boundaries. Specifically boundaries in a relationship. And sure, everyone has their own, whether expressed or unspoken.

Mine, however, have been blatantly expressed in the past, but now I find myself dealing with the same issue.

Specifically, I’m talking boundaries when it comes to being in contact with people other than your spouse/partner.

Where do you draw the line? At texting? At calling? At hanging out?

And to catch you up. The spouse is mine, the contact is via text (as far as I know) and he sort of told me as an afterthought.

The texter is a coworker. Remember those simultaneous dreams he and I had where I dreamed he was having an affair with a coworker and he dreamed I was having an affair with the neighbor? Weird, right? Well, the neighbor moved.

And his coworker, not someone he works closely with or even physically comes in contact with on a daily basis, texted him yesterday to “check on him.”

He’s on vacation. He’s not sick.

He’s simply not at work. And if he’s not at work, then guess what? He’s at home or somewhere with his wife, who would be doing the checking on if need be.

I didn’t say anything at first.

Because I try to be a cool, modern wife, you know. But the thing is, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and at some point, I started to boil over.

He thinks it’s jealousy. I think it’s boundaries, plain and simple. If I’ve not met, formed any type of friendship with this woman, she does not get to have a part in our marriage that’s exclusive to only him, especially when I was here first.

But, maybe that’s just me.

In the end I gave my opinion and honestly, he seemed sort of sad, like I had taken away a favorite toy or something. He even told me to find a guy to text after I asked how he’d feel if he were in my shoes. WTF, right?

Now, mama didn’t raise no fool. I didn’t come out and say “stop this or else” because if he wanted to stop he would and if I told him to stop and he didn’t want to, guess what? He’d continue, only behind my back which would make it definitely look like something even if it’s nothing.

So what did I do? What any sane woman would do, of course. I friended her on Facebook. I’ve got the bitch on my radar and I’m watching the situation closely. That’s all I’m saying.

 

 

Change and stuff.

We’ve been in our new home in our new state now for five + months. My lips want to form the words “I couldn’t be happier” because that’s mostly my answer when people from back home ask how I’m doing, how I like it, how we’re all transitioning. And honestly, I am happy, very. We live in a nice, quiet neighborhood, the twins attend a wonderful school where they are thriving, and the hubby has seen immense change from his old facility to the one he’s at now.

And I have gone from being a mom, wife and writer who also worked full time to only being responsible for shuttling the kids school and activities and well, taking care of home and stuff, and of course, writing. It was the dream. It was what I always wanted and never thought I could have and now that I have it, I guess it just feels unbelievable.

For one, there’s the self-inflicted guilt that not only am I not generating any income, I’m also not taking full advantage of the many hours I have to myself. I’m doing better about it now. I’m actually writing a novel. I know, I’m always writing a novel, but this is the most dedicated I have ever been to it and I have an actual outline that I’m following. I’ve never done that before, now have I?

Also, the release date for Can’t Get Enough will be here before I know it (July 14, 2014, if you didn’t know) and I’ve got to step up my promotion game. Transitioning from just writing to writing and also editing, that extra responsibility is pretty new to me, but it is very necessary if I want this book to be a success and if I want publishers to want me to edit for them again.

I will be blogging more frequently (famous last words, eh?), here and also over at Can’t Get Enough’s blog. There are some short story calls that I’ve started stories for and I want/need to finish. I just want to be a more dedicated writer, a better me, and that itself will take more change than the big move ever did.

It’s time…

…that I said something, did something, finally after what… a month or so…let my own words appear on my own blog. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten a little comfy in my new life. My only responsibilities being to wake up, get the husband and kids off to work and school, cook meals, and keep the house in some sort of order. And, now that we’ve been in our new place for nearly three months, daily maintenance takes maybe an hour.

No reason I should be napping, or watching every show known to man on demand. No reason I should have stacked all my notebooks in the closet where they wouldn’t be sitting there mocking me, reminding me that I haven’t completed a story, a blog, an essay, nothing since I’ve been here.

I feel pretty bad about that. Which reminds me, I also feel bad. I’m in the midst of a Lyme flare up and just for shits and giggles, depression decided to pull up a chair as well.

These shouldn’t be excuses. And when I think about the fact that I could have written a whole novel during the time I’ve been sitting here napping, watching t.v. and drinking beer, I want to well…crawl under the covers, watch t.v. and have a beer.

But enough of that.

I’m at the writing table right now, typing these words. I’m reminding myself that I have a book coming out next July, an actual book with my name on the cover which is hold in my hands proof that writing is what I do, or at least have been doing, and damn it, I need to get back at it.
cant

So…here goes.

Why?

why

I seldom feel the need to explain myself, and I never intended to start now. But since the news of my family’s move to Atlanta has been met with the general inquisition of “why,” I’ve been feeling the need to explain myself, to tick off reasons why we’ve decided to leave this grand old place, and basically, sell the idea of Atlanta to people who are not only not coming with us, but probably won’t even visit.

Our “why” basically is this, though.

We live in a rural area, and though my husband works for the federal government, his particular placement has little room for advancement right now. Atlanta has that. We do have family here, because we were born and raised here. However, that has been a blessing and a curse. Family is there for help and support, but only when they can and want to, and family tends to overstep their bounds. Hell, I’ll say it, my mother especially.

When you have the comfort and convenience of family, it’s hard to motivate yourself to go it on your own. For instance, I almost never have issues with babysitting. On the other hand, my mother often treats me like a teen mom and coaches me (without solicitation) through whatever thing I’m dealing with concerning the children.

We have special needs children, I’ve said that before. The school district has been accommodating, but all the while letting us know that they only have so many resources available and there is only so much they can do. We are relocating to a place where there will be many more resources for the children.

And also, despite their challenges, my children are gifted, but there are no resources here to help nurture their talents besides basic school activities. If my daughter wants to dance, she has to do it in her bedroom.

Finally, we will be in a place where, at last, I can give the proper time and attention to my own career. And not law enforcement. I’ll get to really give freelancing a shot, and I’ll be in a prime place to promote my book next year.

So, there you have it. Those are just a couple of reasons why other than, damn it, it’s our party and we’ll move if we want to.

The hard part is over?

So, I turned in a book yesterday. Wait, didn’t I say that three and a half months ago? Well, yes I did, and yes…I did. The production editor came back with beta reader feedback and some suggestions, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve been reworking, revising, and revisiting (hence my last minute call for more Can’t Get Enough stories). The good thing was, my word count was getting expanded. The not-so-good part was we had to cut a couple of the original stories. And trust me, I hated to pass on that news because as someone who’s been cut twice (maybe more?) at the publishers, I know how that can feel.

But! In good news, I was able to replace those with some stories I had originally rejected due to spacing and flow issues, so I was happy to go groveling back asking for those stories, and happy those authors still had them available and were willing to let us publish them. I also received two more that were the perfect fit and the publishers loved and after much fretting and fitful sleep, I turned it in (again) and we’re all set to go.

And then I finished and turned in a story for someone else’s collection. And I’ve started another. While I love editing and am so excited about Can’t Get Enough, I am so happy to be on the creative side of things again. I’m giddy about creating little worlds to escape to because, the gods know I need that escape every now and again.

Knowing When

I can be relentless to a fault. I can repeat the same thing over and over again in different ways just trying to get my point across or simply be heard. I was once too proud to do this, too afraid of showing weakness or vulnerability.

With age and well, Valium, that all sort of went out the window. I began feeling more like I didn’t have anything to lose and I voiced my opinion and about any and everything, everywhere I could. And, I received mostly the same results.

Now, I’m thinking I need to go back to being that silent and numb person I once was. It was better that way, and safer, and I wasn’t feeling as on edge or as much like I would stroke out at any moment. You can’t control everything. You can’t control most things, and that can be frustrating.

But you have to know when to back away and just let it be, because it’s going to be, whether you like it or not.

I’m back to writing in the meantime, and I hope that’s something that never changes about me, never is muted or tainted. I hope that’s something that never, ever goes away.

Whatever It Takes

I’ve already harped on Twitter about my 1k+ word count accomplishment today. To my fellow, more dedicated writer friends, this probably sounds like nothing, but for me who has been creatively mute for the past month or so, this is wonderful.

Of course, the burst of creative energy came from a huge bout of stress I’m dealing with, but fortunately, this is an awesome outlet for me. I subbed a story last week; I have another near completion, and I’m having tons of fun working on yet another (with sex injuries, yay!).

I’ve also added two-mile walks to the mix which also help.

Hell, anything is better than punching a wall (or a face), I guess.

Where Do I Get Off?

Of course, there had to come a day when I had to talk about at least a bit of my process of putting together Can’t Get Enough. I guess since the whole thing went so much smoother than I ever could have imagined, I thought that my silence was protecting me from some stroke of bad luck or the wicked publishing jinxes, but alas, there are bound to be bumps in the road.

So, yes, in April, I turned in a book. I had selected some amazing stories, stories that had me in awe. Of course, I’d had to walk away from some really good ones because of theming and spacing issues which meant I had to send out a truck load of rejections. But even in doing that I received not one death threat in return. Authors even wished me luck with the project and expressed their excitement in seeing it come to light and wanted to help promote.

I thought I had gotten off easy and wondered how I had gotten so lucky.

I let my tentative list of authors know that they were included in the initial manuscript and I would keep them in the know as to what I knew which is what I’ve been doing. And all I know right now is that we’re set to fly one year from my turn in date which makes it a tentative pub date of April 2014. Now, I don’t know why, but I’ve always operated under the assumption that no news is good news. I hadn’t received word that anyone’s story was cut. I hadn’t received back any additional edits or seen the galleys (and not that I won’t). But I also hadn’t received the contracts for the individuals included or the received the go ahead to send them. And none of this is odd to me because I’ve been in the game a long time and am more than used to the time line (hello wrote a story in 04 and saw it published in 06!) But I have an author or two who maybe isn’t used to it and is fretting. And I am in turn fretting and wondering if I am doing right by these people and the rest of them and in no way with this being my first time out as editor do I want to feel like I’m not getting it exactly right. I don’t want to leave anyone hanging or have anyone feel like things aren’t on the up and up.

So, I’m thinking a mass email is in order… just in case there are others who may be thinking the same thing and not saying anything because yeah, maybe I’ve been there and don’t remember… and everyone can benefit from a check in…right?

A French Affair by Lucy Felthouse

french
Sydney Tyler is renting a barn conversion in Northern France, planning to spend the fortnight getting some words down on her novel. Unfortunately, construction work in the other half of the building puts an end to her peace and quiet. Genuinely upset that the builders are going to disturb her, the property’s handsome English owner, Harry Bay, offers to make it up to her. He’s a little flirtatious, and after spotting his wedding ring, Sydney keeps him at arm’s length. Sexy as he is, she has no intention of getting involved with a married man. But when Sydney learns the truth about Harry, will their mutual attraction spur them on to work through their emotional baggage and make this more than just a French affair?

Available from: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/a-french-affair/

*****
Excerpt:

Sydney Tyler jumped so hard that her fingers slammed down onto the laptop’s keyboard and she typed a bunch of gobbledegook.

Kashfkjsdhlfknsdlfvn sdlkch awoeduioh ahdwklc

Gasping, she clutched at her chest as her heart thumped rapidly and painfully. “What the fucking hell was that?” she said to the empty room.

Pushing her chair back from the desk, she stepped over to the window. Peering out into the brilliant sunshine, she saw something on the lawn that she had absolutely not been expecting. Workmen.

She groaned. So much for her peaceful writer’s retreat. She’d planned to get a good chunk of her novel down in the fortnight she was away, and now it looked as though her peace was going to be monumentally shattered by banging, drilling and God knows what else.

Sighing, she gave the windowsill a pathetic thump in her frustration. She might have been pissed off, but she was no vandal. And besides, she didn’t want those noisy buggers in her part of the building fixing things—having them next door was bad enough.

Sydney really could not believe her shitty luck. When she’d booked the cottage in the French village of Monthiers over the phone a couple of months ago, she’d dealt with a fellow Brit called Harry Bay, who she’d suspected was the owner. On arrival, though, a timid French woman had met her and let her into the luxurious barn conversion before handing over the keys and explaining a little bit about the local area. Apparently, in the mornings, someone came along the village streets, selling fresh bread and pastries.

There wasn’t much else to tell, it seemed, as the village had nothing except a church—almost opposite her accommodation—and a tavern. It was also lacking—she’d quickly discovered—a mobile signal. Not even a single bar illuminated her screen. Her phone was now no more than a watch, alarm clock and calendar. If there was an emergency, she was screwed. But on a much lighter note, it was one less distraction. She could just get on with what she was here to do, blissfully undisturbed.

The arrival of workmen was incredibly irritating. Her temporary landlord hadn’t mentioned there’d be anyone working next door. If he had, she wouldn’t have booked the place—the quiet and idyllic location were the whole reason for choosing this property, this area. Even though there was no way he could have known she was there to work, common courtesy would dictate that he told her. Perhaps he was just interested in taking her money and didn’t give a damn about whether she had a satisfactory stay or not. There was nothing to be done about it now, unfortunately. She’d paid for the fortnight, and she was buggered if she was going to cut and run, pissing that money down the drain. She’d just have to find a way around the disturbance, and console herself that she could leave a snarky write up on a review site when she got home.

Finding out the builders’ working hours would be a good start—she could attempt to write around them then. Or perhaps she could make use of the headphones she’d stuffed into her case, without ever thinking they’d get used. Some loud rock music would drown out the din from next door and hopefully allow her to work. It was worth a try. She hoped they were only doing a small job that would only take a couple of days, but deep down she knew they weren’t. They were renovating the whole place so it was as beautiful as the half she was in.

She was just about to go in search of the aforementioned headphones when one of the men pottering around on the lush back garden stepped away from the others. Standing in a shaft of sunlight, he pulled his arms high above his head and stretched, dragging up his t-shirt to reveal a lean stomach with a fine line of dark hair leading enticingly into the waistband of his jeans.

Oh yum, she thought, perhaps having builders next door wouldn’t be so bad after all. Especially if they all looked like him. She continued to watch as the man dropped his arms to his sides and watched the others. His dark hair was overlong and stuck out at crazy angles, as though he’d been running his fingers through it. She couldn’t see the colour of his eyes from this distance, but she could make out enough detail of his features to see that he was handsome. Gorgeous, actually. Close up he could be much less attractive, but from her upstairs window, the view was pretty fine.

Just then, he glanced across at her side of the long barn, which was divided into two holiday cottages. He caught sight of her standing there, and his face dropped. He looked back at the builders, then returned his gaze to her again. Pointing at the group of noisy men, he slapped his forehead with his other hand. Finally, he pointed at his chest, then up at her. He was indicating he wanted to come in. She paused, then nodded. Common sense told her she shouldn’t be letting a strange man into her temporary home, but then, there were several large, bulky men milling around, so if they were a dodgy sort, she and the locked door would have no chance against them, especially with no means of calling for assistance. She could scream, of course, but she doubted anyone would come. The walls of the building were extremely thick—though sadly, no match for banging and drilling—the nearest house was a little way down the road, and by day, the village was all but deserted. There was only one business that she knew of—the tavern—so the other inhabitants would have to go elsewhere to work. To nearby Chateau-Thierry, perhaps, or even further afield.

She’d just have to hope that the handsome man—probably the head honcho of their group—was also a decent one. Presumably they were a reputable company, as they’d been hired by the British owners, who were usually more wary of cowboy builders, and given the horror stories and dedicated TV programmes back home, it was understandable.

Before she got even halfway down the stairs, a knock came at the door. Okay, so he was polite enough to knock, that was good. She moved a little faster, careful not to trip in her flip flops and go hurtling downwards. Once she was safely on the ground floor, she twisted the key in the door and opened it.

*****

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and 2013, and Best Women’s Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at Lucy Felthouse Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9